Why do Jews want Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” published in Germany?
It sounds counter-intuitive. German Jews want Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf — the 1925 book that spells out his plan for a Nazi state and gives expression to his extreme anti-Semitism — to be published in Germany. The Central Council of Jews in Germany would be ready to help edit the new edition and pressure the Bavarian state government (which owns the rights and blocks publication) to issue it. As our Berlin correspondent Dave Graham reported, Stephan Kramer, the Central Council ‘s general secretary, made the suggestion in an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio (here are the DLF text report and audio in German).
Kramer said things had changed since Bavaria banned its publication in the initial post-war years as a way to thwart a revival of Nazi ideology. “Through the Internet and other media, the book is widely available abroad. Especially in far-right wing circles, there has been what you might call a romanticising of the book Mein Kampf, so I personally and we in the Central Council now feel a publicly available version of Mein Kampf with critical commentaries would now be much more helpful. It would make clear to readers who access it what crude stuff was written there,” he said.
Meanwhile in Austria, work has begun on a spoof biopic of Hitler called — what else? — “Mein Kampf.” It’s based on a play of the same name by the late Hungarian-Jewish playwright George Tabori and will premiere in Germany next year.
How to deal with the Hitler legacy is a political, moral and artistic minefield. The debate about publishing Mein Kampf has gone on for years. German and Austrian directors have made films about him, but usually serious ones like Oliver Hirschbiegel’s 2004 film “Der Untergang “(Downfall). A German parody, “Mein Fuehrer — The Truly Truest Truth About Adolf Hitler,” sparked controversy and scathing reviews in Germany last year.
Hitler was responsible for some of the worst evils in history, starting with the Holocaust. Do you think Mein Kampf should be published in Germany or that filmmakers should make parodies of his life?